By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – Former Vice President , Atiku Abubakar has said the closure of the Africa Independent Television, AIT, and Raypower FM owned by the DAAR Group by the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC has a reminder of the dark days of military dictatorship, particularly Decree 4 which stifled press freedom in the country.
Atiku in a statement signed by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, warned that the suspension of the licenses of the DAAR Group and shutting down of its stations revealed a dangerous dark anti-media agenda allegedly by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
In his reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 election explained that the “hostility” of incumbent administration to press freedom, portend danger to the nation’s democracy.
He added that if the press is not free, the situation will inevitably lead to dictatorship and erodes democratic gains recorded in the past few years.
The Wazirin Adamawa said it is impossible to love democratic values and hate free press at the same time.
“Dictators want to be worshipped rather than being criticised and held accountable for performance or actions. That is why they find democratic order inconvenient to their sinister desires to kill free speech”, he noted.
He said if Nigerians don’t defend free speech and press, their own freedom may be ultimately jeopardized by the government’s intolerance of criticisms.